Apple’s iPhones will finally have an app drawer – well, sort of. At its WWDC keynote today, Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President of Software at Apple, announced a feature the company calls App Library. The feature doesn’t work exactly the same way as Android’s app drawer, but the idea seems to be the same.
With iOS 14, users will be able to long press the screen and see how many home screens they have. You can then choose to hide some of these screens, and the rest of the apps will show up on the App Library. So when you’re swiping left and have swiped through the available home screens, iOS will spring the App Library.
This shows suggested apps, which uses on-device artificial intelligence (AI) to suggest the apps you’re most likely to use. The App Library also intelligently curates categories, so your apps show up in pre-named folders according to the category they belong to. There’s a search bar on top to reach an app directly too.
While the App Library might feel familiar for Android users, it seems somewhat redundant for iPhones. Apple already had the coveted Spotlight search feature, which lets users simply swipe down and search for an app. In fact, Spotlight was one of the reasons why multiple home screens on iPhones have never been a big problem.
So far, iPhones and iPads have always put app icons directly on the home screen, something that Android hasn’t. In fact, there have been many Android phones that try to copy this iPhone feature by eliminating the app drawer. But the absence of something like Spotlight Search made those more difficult to use at times.
WWDC is ongoing right now, so this story might be updated with more details soon…